More money for military veterans department
The Department of Military Veterans plans to greatly roll out benefits to military veterans over the next couple of years, with a focus on health care, housing and skills development. The Department has been allocate R597.6 million in the 2016/17 budget period, R634.7 million for 2017/18 and R673.4 million for 2018/19, according to the latest government budget document. In 2012/13 there were just 200 “deserving military veterans with access to health care services” but this had grown to 13 923 in 2015/16, with plans to increase to 16 000 in 2018/19. “The department will also provide ongoing health care support to 16 000 veterans and their dependants by referring them to the appropriate health institutions, reflected in the 28.3 per cent increase in spending in the Health and Wellbeing Support subprogramme over the medium term [by 2018/19]. The subprogramme has a budget of R218.2 million over the medium term,” the veterans budget document reads. There were only two “deserving military veterans with military housing” in 2013/14, but in the next three budget terms the Department plans to build 1 000 houses a year for military veterans, at a cost of R436.7 million.